Social Service personnel assist with referrals to community resources and provide counseling related to the impact of illness or long term care.
Medical Social Workers play a vital role in the care team for patients in need of services. This is particularly true when it comes to senior care services. Medical Social workers can work with patients in a number of different settings depending on the needs of the individuals. Hospitals, nursing facilities, long term care facilities, clinics, homes and hospice care are the typical arenas for senior care services.
After a patient has been admitted to Home Health or Hospice Services, the Medical Social Worker will conduct an in-depth assessment to determine the needs specific to that patient to offer the best senior care services. The assessment will identify limitations, barriers and any safety issues that may impede recovery. Once the assessment is completed, the Medical Social Worker will educate the patient and the care givers, often family members, and direct them to community support and resources available to help. They will assist the patient and the care givers with long range plans. This can include advanced care planning, advanced directives and overall care opportunities.
The ultimate goal of the Medical Social Worker is to work with everyone to keep the patient at home and to help the care givers make sure that the home is a safe and healthy environment.
Some of these services provided by the Medical Social Worker include:
- Community resource planning and coordination
- Preparation of Advance Directives such as Medical Power of Attorney or Living Wills
- Assistance with the emotional adjustments that the patient and the care givers will have to make regarding the changes to life brought on by the health issue
- Crisis intervention
- Assistance with financial aid applications
- Counseling with life style changes
- Emotion education particularly in regards to coping with life changes and loss
- Grief counseling and dealing with impending loss of life
In Home Health Services
Home Health senior care services professionals provide a comprehensive array of services to the patient and the family. They will collaborate with the physician and other members of the medical team to develop a plan that will best meet the needs of the patient.
In addition to the Medical Social Worker, the home health team for senior care services can include Registered Nurse Case Managers, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Physical Therapists and Home Health Aides. Each of these skilled professionals offers the patient much needed care.
Nurses provide comprehensive care including:
- Catheter and incontinence care
- Medication instruction and management
- Surgical aftercare
- Management of pain
Therapy teams can provide:
- Adaptive equipment needs assessment and instruction including speech devices
- Independent living instruction
- Home exercise programs including strength and range of motion training
- Lymphedema treatment
- Home safety education
- Manual therapy including massage
- Fall risk assessment, education and balance training
Home Health Aides assist with activities of daily living including:
- Personal hygiene including bathing a oral hygiene
When you are looking for the best senior care services for your family member or loved one, talk to your Medical Social Worker about the many options available with a service that is provided right in the home. In Home Health Services give the patient the ability to recover in the comfort of their own home. The most important thing you can do is to compare all of the services available. Look to agency that will offer the most comprehensive and personalized care for the patient.